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LA TRINDIAD, Benguet – The provincial inter-agency task force for the management of emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases passed a resolution requesting the national inter-agency task force to enforce the completion of the 14-day facility quarantine of locally stranded individuals (LSIs) and returning Overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) in their points of origin prior to their dispatch to the province.
Resolution No. 2020-01 of the provincial inter-agency task force stated that there is a continuous influx of returning OFWs and LSIs to the province, hence, the need for the national and provincial task force to strengthen the implementation and compliance of the established health and safety protocols in response to the prevailing Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) global pandemic.
The resolution added that the emergence of the COVID-19 infections has been acknowledged by the global community and the World Health Organization (WHO) as public health emergency of international concern where the said deadly virus has threatened the lives of Filipinos both here and abroad, as well as the country’s economy in general, thus, an inter-sectoral collaboration is needed to prepare and ensure efficient government response to assess, monitor, contain, control and prevent the spread of the infection.
Earlier, the national and provincial inter-agency task forces issued several resolutions to provide guidelines in the management of arriving OFWs and LSIs.
The resolution disclosed that statistical data showed an increasing number of returning Benguet OFWs and LSIs with a declared negative reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test results in the National Capital Region (NCR) but eventually becoming COVID-19 positive when tested again upon arrival in the province.
The resolution explained the aforesaid situation presents greater risk to everyone the infected OFW and LSI get in contact within the community where they reside.
After the conduct of the required verification and validation, the provincial task force claimed the returning OFWs and LSIs have not allegedly completed the required 14-day facility quarantine in NCR, thus, the concerned government agencies have to make sure this required quarantine period is completed before being allowed to return to the province to prevent them infecting their family members, relatives and their friends.
Gov. Melchor D. Diclas underscored that the failure of the returning OFWs and LSIs to complete the required 14-day facility-based quarantine is a health risk because the sudden surge in confirmed cases in the different parts of the province had been attributed to the said individuals.
The governor pointed out that it is still best for returning OFWs and LSIs to complete the required 14-day facility quarantine before being allowed to travel to the province to rejoin their families during the pandemic.
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